What don’t we have enough of in our day to day lives lately?
We are hyper-connected. Internet, social media, television, radio, smart phones and watches, and even billboards that light up with info. But what’s missing?
We can instantly know what our friends are doing anywhere in the world, even if they live in the house next door. So, again, what’s missing?
When connection takes place at the mental level, where we can only see and hear, but not be truly present, hearing, seeing, and feeling the actual vibrations of a person in real time, with all of our senses engaged, we are missing vital…you guessed it, connection.
When we get together in person there is an element, a powerful piece of the otherwise missing puzzle. When you take an online course versus being directly involved, sitting next to other flesh and blood people, everyone learning and participating together in the process of learning, something is missed: connection to self and others. When you get together in a real yoga class, for example, you are living and breathing next to other people who are living and breathing. You are connected to them even if you never say hello.
We can’t thrive without connection. Actual human connection. And actual human connection is, for some reason, frightening to a lot of people. Why? Because it requires vulnerability. It requires you to be truly available on some level that hiding behind a screen otherwise protects you from.
We have placed far too much value on protection, on our personal security. I’m not talking about our digital security, I’m talking about our sense of self, our identity, the core of whatever or whoever it is we think we are. And as a result we pull away from people–even when we’re standing right in front of them. We withdraw our energy, we become invisible to each other. So what’s missing?
What does it take to regain true connection? It requires a shift in perception, a willingness to be open and present to ourselves and others. Is this an easy thing to accomplish?
No, of course not. Think about your whole life and how, since you became an adult, you’ve been busy learning how to protect and defend yourself…from others. You’ve been busy building anti-connection. Then using a virtual condom (the computer and internet) to reach out to others. A lifetime of that level of dedicated pulling away doesn’t change over night because you decide you want to connect. First you have to convince yourself that you want, and maybe even need
Then you have to keep showing up and being open until those around you also want to open up, or feel safe enough to open up and feel connected to you. It definitely does not need to be physical, or intimate in the sense that you’re going to have to sleep with those around you (let’s hope that’s not your only motivation!) It means sharing more of your mind and heart with others, what you really think, what you really feel, getting honest feedback if you cross a line inadvertently, and growing from that. It’s an art that never gets perfected. We just get better at being ourselves, and in so doing we open more fully to